Someone is spreading a nasty rumor about
Mood: confused
Posted on 2010-03-12 12:06:00
Tags: essay
Words: 648

This article claims that was conceived as a phishing site, and is planning on releasing users' data on April 1.

I was ready to share the news with my friends who use formspring, when I had a look at the URL, which is hosted at, someone's personal website.

In short: I can't find this article anywhere else - tried searching Google, Google News, Bing, as well as the Associated Press (who the article says published it). Nothing.

The article looks very real - like an embedded Google News page, and the article at first glance looks like a real AP article. But given the above, I guess it's a fake. Very strange!

Edit: Another story about the rumor.

Edit: The article appears down; I've pasted the content under the lj-cut:

LA-based "" service to reveal identities of anonymous users

(AP) – 2 days ago

LOS ANGELES — Twelve administrators of the website, including CEO Mark Baxter were arrested on Monday for data phishing and misleading the public, when the site was revealed to be a "social experiment," which will culminate in the automatic revealing of users' private data on April 1, 2010.

Baxter, 28, was sentenced in Van Nuys Superior Court for the creation of said website, which allows users to "send and receive anonymous questions, and learn more about people you find interesting by following their answers."

Over 2 million people have used the site to communicate anonymously with other users since its creation in 2009.

"We allow users to sign up for an account and ask questions anonymously, but we still store their data next to the question. For legal purposes," said Baxter, in a January interview.

However, it was revealed, in a leaked personal email from Baxter to Anne Gralley, a friend, that the data was being stored for another reason.

"In less than a month, " Baxter wrote, "we'll be adding the name, email, and facebook account of each user next to all of their anonymous posts."

Gregory Deacon, a friend of Baxter's from college, remembers Baxter mentioning his idea for the this elaborate April Fool's Day prank.

"He was using that Facebook application, Honesty Box, and he got some real nasty stuff over it. So he said to me, 'Wouldn't it be great if someone made something like this, then showed everyone's names one day?"

More troubling still, it's almost perfectly legal.

The Terms of Service that all users, by their participation with the site, legally agree to

includes the following:

" reserves the right to change these Terms and Conditions at any time without notice, and your continued use of constitutes your consent to such changes."

Because of this disclaimer, the automatic revealing of registered users' names and information on April 1st will be completely legal.

However, it was discovered by investigators that the site also records the name and information of any anonymous users who are logged into at the time of their post.

"If they don't register for an account, the site can still grab their name and facbook URL from

a file that facebok [sic] stores on their computer," the email message reads.

It is because of this feature that the additional charges of data phishing have been added.

Although Baxter and several programmers have been apprehended, any data that had been stored before yesterday will still

be published automatically by the formspring server at 12:00 AM (GMT) on April 1.

The public is advised to delete their accounts and to warn others not to give away any private information on the website.

The company that funded has set up a support line for users who want to have their names removed from the site as soon as they appear.

Please send requests to

It is not known, at this time, whether a class-action lawsuit will be filed.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Comment from anonymous:
2010-03-19T16:13:15+00:00 this link doesnt work

Comment from gregstoll:

The rumor is fake; formspring is legit.

Comment from anonymous:

okay so formspring is not gunna show everyones name april 1st ?

Comment from anonymous:

i made a formspring and i think its so unfair. whats going on? on april 1st will everyone be able too see what i wrote?

Comment from anonymous:

i think that is what they are trying to say, i really hope they don't do it cuz i am freaking dead if they did.

Comment from anonymous:

lmfao ur a fuk3n pussy say shyt 2 pplz face n not on formspring

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